I am currently attending a 3 day conference in Anaheim California for the CI Summit. A couple peers and I set off to our destination Thursday morning and arrived in Santa Ana at around noon. After hearing about the floods in recent news, I was worried our days in California will be spent mostly inside. To our luck, we transitioned from 20 degrees farenheit to 78 degrees, under the sun and facing a cool ocean breeze coming from all directions. The change of pace and feeling the warm weather was enjoyable and refreshing.
The first day of the conference seemed to be tailored to professionals who paid extra so we only went to the networking event later in the evening after we checked in with the receptionist of the event. At the networking event, we spoke with students from Purdue who were all construction management majors. It was nice to be able to talk to students near our age and hear about what they have been doing at school as well as how their curriculum differs from ours. Just as added information, the hors d’ouvre they were serving, whatever it was called, was delicious. The casual setting of the event made it very easy to talk to professionals.
Out of the professionals I spoke with, the most memorable was my conversation with Ray Crawford, who is a Quality Assurance Manager for WSP, Parsons Brinckerhoff. Our conversation included topics of civil engineering but it was mostly casual and just plain enjoyable. Whenever I go to these types of conferences, I get worked up because there are professionals but I find that the most memorable interactions I have had are the ones where I was able to act naturally and without the effort of “acting professional.” When we talked about civil engineering, it ended up being a conversation about how we expected the industry will start to change. Will balloon frame constructions improve? Is there a faster way to pave for roadways? How will drone surveying affect the need/demand for surveyors? A lot of questions we didn’t have answers for, but it was an open ended discussion which I enjoyed a lot.
Overall the first day in Anaheim was casual and a nice opportunity to talk to different people. We had plenty of time to tour the area as well as check out the Disneyland resort where we met up with the Purdue students.